Fixing a mix issue using BiasFX

  • A2

    I had to do a quick mix yesterday, where I didn't have access to my normal plugins or impulses

    Right away, using the stock 4x12 Treadplate cab, I was easily able to get a guitar sound that sounded absolutely mix ready and perfect when the guitar was playing by itself in between little breaks at say the intro (guitar only) and some stuff between the verses where the other instruments dropped out.

    The trouble came when the drums, bass and vocals were in. That beautiful, full sound by itself just took up too much sonic real estate when the other instruments were involved. Either it would be hard to hear the guitar, or turning up the guitar to hear it interfered too much with the other instruments

    Soloing down to the drums and guitar, the only real issue, was surprisingly, the kick drum! And of course, that well known resonance at around 145-155hz was the culprit

    So I grabbed the free TDR Nova (though if you really find this useful, he has a paid version that is ++awesome)

    I can't remember exactly where, but I looked at the nova analyzer on both the kick and guitar, and somewhere around 150, where the trouble was, I did about a 6db cut with a rather narrow q, of about 2, on band 2 of the nova EQ on the guitar track

    This definitely dealt with the guitar burying the kick, but really left the guitar feeling a little anemic between the kick drum hits. Falling back to a trick about our psychology and the way we percieve things, I doubled the frequency of band 2 on band 3, somewhere around the usually terrifying and mud inducing 300hz, and set a q of around 1 and a boost of about 3db.

    While the drums were playing, this really made the appearance of the full guitar signal still going, while the kick drum was free and clear to pound.

    However, once the bass and vocals were back in, it still had the smear and real estate problem.

    Sticking another instance of Nova on the master buss, it was pretty apparent, that, especially on the palm mute stuff, the big issue was the buildup between the main kick drum resonance and the mud area.....the center of the issue was right in the all too common 200hz-280hz area, also really smearing the fundamental of the snare drum. Again, not a problem even for the snare when it was just the guitar and drums, but, add the bass and vocals and here comes the issues

    But Nova has another trick, a threshold dependent EQ! On the guitar track instance of Nova, click the threshold button on band one, set the frequency right where the snare pops the loudest, and start lowering the threshold. You can quickly get your snare back, and with the "EQ Gain" switch engaged (this is an auto gain compensation switch global to the whole plugin), by adjusting the q, you can hear your guitar's presence come up without drowning the rest of the instruments out.

    I found myself turning up the band 1 gain to make up for the amount yanked out on non palm muting chugs. Also, you can see in the pic, I have the attack time probably a lot longer than you would want for a more modern, pushed mid sort of metal sound (for that sort of sound you would probably also want to engage Nova's Low Pass Filter as well). As this gain came up, I turned down the psychoacoustic trick make up boost on band 2 a bit.

    The EQ Gain switch can make things confusing, but if you are listening in context while you make changes, it can actually save you a serious amount of time and stress

    I ended up automating the band 1 bypass, so that band 1 wasn't used during the parts of the song where the guitar was playing by itself

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  • A2

    Oops, forgot to show band 1 with the dynamic settings

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